What is Collaborative Law?

Collaborative Law is an alternative dispute resolution process in which both parties retain separate, specially-trained attorneys whose only job is to help their clients settle their dispute without going to court. Parties agree to work together respectfully, honestly, and in good faith to try to find “win-win” solutions to their legitimate needs. The focus is on problem-solving, not adversarial proceedings. Rather than allowing a third-party (the courts) to make decisions about issues affecting their lives, the parties control the outcome. While engaged in the Collaborative Process, the parties and their attorneys do not go to court, or even threaten to do so. To ensure that the attorneys and parties are committed to the goal of settlement, all participants in a Collaborative case sign an agreement that requires the attorneys to withdraw from the case if one or both parties later decide to terminate the process and go to court. Collaborative attorneys cannot represent a Collaborative client in any litigation involving the other Collaborative party.

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